Parents' Guide to

Meenakshi Sundareshwar

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Newlywed Indian couple survives separation; language.

Movie NR 2021 141 minutes
Meenakshi Sundareshwar Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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The expressive actors who play the title roles in Meenakshi Sundareshwar telegraph emotions more eloquently than the words in the uneven script. They fall in love at first sight, and many viewers will join right in. They persuade us that singing and dancing can break out at any moment and, when it does, each of them adds the joy of movement to the movie's assets.

But the narrative does get baggy in places. A good 50 minutes of its 140-minute running time could be eliminated and still leave behind a frothy Bollywood romp. Some viewers might be unaware of the many different cultures that coexist in India's vast geographical expanse. This film is set in the southern Tamil region, and some Tamil pundits view it as a caricatured Bollywood interpretation of South India's distinct culture. One observer notes that Tamil characters are often inserted in mainstream Indian films somewhat disrespectfully, for comic relief. Here, neither the leads nor a majority of the cast are Tamil, and social media posts complain that the movie is an inaccurate representation of South Indian culture, with wrong clothes, language, pronunciations, and casting.

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